I have a 2.5 year old daughter. She sleeps great once she's asleep. We do the nightly routine and put her to bed. She gets into bed after story time and cuddles her stuffed animals and closes her eyes.
After my wife and I leave the room she will play in bed - sometimes it's kicking the wall, sometimes talking to her stuffed animals, sometimes singing, etc... She may do this for 5 minutes to an hour. Even when we're sure she's tired she will stay up and play.
My wife and I have taken to standing in her room and saying "Shhh" or "Lay still." when she's been going for a while without falling asleep. Usually after 15-30 minutes of this she will fall asleep.
We got the idea of standing in there from people who's kids kept getting out of bed - recommendations were to put them back in bed and sit there quietly without getting upset or emotional.
Are we doing the right thing by staying in there? I'm hesitant to try any kind of bribery like "Go to sleep and you get X in the morning" or "If you don't fall asleep you won't get Y tomorrow" since I'm not sure she'll remember the cause or reason for them the next day.
She doesn't show any signs of being afraid or reluctance to get in bed. She's never climbs out and we don't play in bed. We read stories on a rug near the bed and after hugs and kisses she climbs into bed. Any thoughts or suggestions?